Cablegate: Goma Report September 28:
OO RUEHBZ RUEHDU RUEHGI RUEHJO RUEHMR RUEHRN
DE RUEHKI #0809 2730922
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
O 290922Z SEP 08
FM AMEMBASSY KINSHASA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 8499
INFO RUEHXR/RWANDA COLLECTIVE
RUCNSAD/SOUTHERN AF DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY COLLECTIVE
RHMFISS/HQ USEUCOM VAIHINGEN GE
RUZEJAA/JAC MOLESWORTH RAF MOLESWORTH UK
UNCLAS KINSHASA 000809
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PGOV PREL MOPS KPKO PHUM PREF CG
SUBJECT: Goma Report September 28:
FARDC Pounding Away at Rugari
1. (SBU) Summary: FARDC has done some withdrawing from the
Rutshuru corridor, while pounding away at CNDP sites near Rugari and
reinforcing its hold on Tongo. Meanwhile, CNDP has occupied much of
the buffer zone at Ngungu, making commencement of the southern zone
of separation doubtful. End Summary.
2. (SBU) There was little movement of military forces in the
eastern and northern zones September 28. Per the disengagement plan
(according to which the eastern zone was to have been completed
September 28), FARDC has done some withdrawing from the eastern
(Rutshuru) zone of separation. But at the same time it continued a
barrage against CNDP positions in the heights around Rugari and east
of Rumangabo (following its preferred method of concentrating
artillery around the MONUC base at Rugari, putting North Kivu
brigade in danger).
3. (SBU) FARDC continued to reinforce its hold on Tongo, bringing
in two companies directly across the single road from Rutshuru,
after having lost the other positions taken in the northern zone in
the past four days. CNDP made no significant response in either the
eastern or northern area September 28. MONUC force commander
General Gaye and FARDC army chief Kayembe visited Nyanzale, as well
as Masisi and Rutshuru, by helicopter during the day. A North Kivu
brigade convoy, making its way to Nyanzale, was stoned by the
populace at Kibirizi, and a large anti-MONUC crowd also gathered in
4. (SBU) A MONUC military team September 27-28 visited the Ngungu
area, where the southern zone of separation was meant to get under
way September 28. The team found that CNDP had full control of
Ngungu and had extended its area of control well into the formerly
agreed buffer zone, eight kilometers to the southwest at Gasake.
The local CNDP commander was not aware of a disengagement plan and
awaited orders from his command. It did not appear to the team that
PARECO, which had occupied Ngungu for only four days, had an
"organized force" in the area, but rather were opportunistic bandits
and cattle rustlers. A separate humanitarian team helicoptered into
Ngungu September 27 (septel). It concurred with the estimate of
18,000 IDPs clustered around the MONUC helicopter base. The IDPs
appear to fear imminent fighting and to fear PARECO more than CNDP.
5. (SBU) According to Deputy Chief of Staff Col. Cunliffe, General
Gaye pressed General Kayembe to speed up FARDC's withdrawal, seeking
(with remarkable optimism) to have the withdrawal complete within 48
hours. Kayembe nodded approval. Gaye also pressed to get the ten
anti-FDLR battalions back into Operation Kimia as soon as possible.
Kayembe also, apparently, nodded approval.
6. (SBU) Meanwhile, CNDP commander in the eastern zone, Col.
Makenga, has requested a meeting with North Kivu brigade September
29, at Bunagana. North Kivu brigade commander Brigadier General
Rawat has requested the presence of the international facilitation
on the road trip, hoping that discussion will cover more than the
details of separation of forces in the eastern zone.